I got engaged to the man of my dreams five months ago. He’s the love of my life.
The only problem is his spoiled, bossy, snobby 15-year-old daughter.
She’s a good kid in school, and plays in a band, but is otherwise lazy and rude.
We don't have custody, but she’s at our house everyday after school until 8pm because she whines about going to her mother’s house.
Her father let's her stay here when she's not supposed to.
She only eats five different things for dinner. I have to cook two separate dinners every night.
We have to ask her if we want to go out. If she doesn't like it, we can't go.
How can I get my husband to stop eating out of the palm of her hand without looking like the evil stepmother?
The stepmother role isn’t a walk in the park, but it can become rewarding if you try to understand what’s going on with this girl.
Being indulged for years isn’t her fault; that was her parents’ choice.
Now her life’s become complicated. So she’s showing that she’s not happy with any of you.
But she can change/mature gradually, if she comes to trust that you’re not all trying to ruin her life.
(By being “a good kid” in school, she shows her potential when she’s in a place in which she’s secure).
Instead of being resentful about what she eats, be careful she doesn’t progress to an eating disorder, as a way to gain more control over her own person.
Invite her to join you in the kitchen and show you how to cook “her food” the way she likes it. Lighten up at the dinner table and don’t react to her food choices.
Tell her father she needs reassurance that he’s a strong parent as well as loving, and that being with you takes nothing away from that.
Get him to set reasonable but firm boundaries. When you intend to go out, let her know the date and time ahead. Period.
If you need help understanding that slow and caring adjustments are needed immediately, see a professional therapist.
My long-time friend’s husband only briefly held down any job, was a party animal, and womanizer, who spent his family inheritance on good times.
My friend had a good job, good salary, and was always responsible and available to help their children. He was not.
She always complained to me, but refused to leave him because of the financial consequences.
We stopped seeing them as a couple because we could no longer stand his company. I continued to see her privately.
Recently, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and he has only a few months to live.
She’s devastated. I don't understand it.
She always wanted to leave him and lamented being stuck with him.
I'm not without compassion, and I’ll continue to support her, but if it were me, I’d be delighted at the possibility of freedom from such a person and planning a life without him.
Do I simply lack understanding?
You’ve been a good friend but never understood the depth of her attachment to him.
You served as her release valve – she could complain and carry on, because there was something about him that she loved or needed.
Finding out that this man who’s been in her life so long is soon going to die soon, is obviously a shock.
Support her best now by accepting this.
People we know are hosting a wine and cheese party. On their invitation it’s stated that you must bring a bottle of wine and a piece of cheese.
Isn’t this rude?
They’re retired and well enough off to supply everything.
Wouldn’t it be better to bring a small gift like flowers?
I think they’re just trying to stock their wine cabinet on other people's money.
It’s unlikely they’re only boosting their wine collection, since each guest has the possibility of drinking a bottle they bring.
Also, hosting always carries a cost – from the time for set-up and clean-up, to the cost of other needed supplies.
You can go and be sociable, and may find that they have put out other food, or they’re not as visibly affluent as you imagine.
Or, you can exercise your right to not attend, which may be the best choice, since it’s apparent you don’t like or respect them.
Tip of the day:
The stepmother role is a responsibility that calls for understanding, not just reactions.